Retirement can be a time of discovery. Perhaps you want to spend your retirement continuing or diving deeper into the hobbies you’ve enjoyed throughout your life. Or maybe you want to learn something completely new. Whatever you do, we believe that a well-planned retirement can be an amazing and inspiring time in life.

Ed Blanco, a retiree living in Miami, embodies this sentiment. He worked for the Miami Parks Department for most of his life, and when he retired he decided to embrace a life-long passion for jazz music. He began writing jazz reviews and hosting a jazz radio show. Today, Ed has written over 1,000 jazz reviews along with a number of album liner notes. He is respected in the field and gets to live his passion every day.

We recently sat down with Ed to ask him some questions about how to do what you love during retirement. We hope his answers might inspire you to do the same, and even offer some insights about how to plan for an inspiring retirement.

To learn more about Ed, watch his video in our Discovering Retirement series.

Ed Blanco Discovering Jazz in Retirement

What’s one word that describes your retirement?


What’s your favorite thing to do in retirement?

Attend jazz concerts.

What surprised you about retirement? What didn’t you expect?

I didn’t expect to be as busy as I am!

What’s your idea of a happy retirement?

Being active and doing what I like, not what I have to do.

What’s your greatest pleasure in retirement?

My jazz show. I love to play music for people, and whenever I have the chance to substitute for other programs, I do.

What makes you happiest about retirement?

Not having the pressures of work responsibilities and not having to worry about a paycheck.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My two children. They’re everything to me.

What’s your retirement motto?

Live life to the fullest and forget about regrets. I couldn’t live life to the fullest when I was working, but now I have time to engage in my passion.

What or who inspires you to have an active retirement?

Nobody, really. I just looked at my situation and my family, and thought about what would be best for me.

What was your best financial decision?

Buying my home. It’s a retirement investment for the future. When I decide to sell, we’ll downsize. But when you live without a mortgage, you live like a king.

Sum up your concept of financial planning.

Learn to live on less than you earn. Once I learned how to live on less than my paycheck, saving was second-nature.

What would have made retirement easier?

Had I started saving earlier in my life.

What would you tell your grandkids about saving for retirement?

Save now and enjoy later.

What’s more important: money or experience?

That’s an easy one. To me, life experiences are more important. What good is it to have money without the experiences, challenges, and successes that make life feel rich?

For more on how Ed planned for retirement, check out our video here.

What would you like to discover in retirement? What’s one lesson about retirement planning you’d like to share with the world?